Freelancing is empowering. You can pursue your passion, be your own boss and work on your own terms. Superman won’t ever have anything on you! When things are going well, you feel like you’re able to conquer the world. It’s a magnificent feeling.
The flip-side, however, is that it’s difficult to pursue freelancing full-time. A survey conducted in 2015 showed that only 45% of full-time freelancers make more money working on their own than they would in a traditional job. Full-time freelancing that yields great returns requires a consistent stream of income and heavy time investment. Consistency isn’t the name of the game for some people who use online freelancing platforms.
I fall into the 55% of people who don’t earn enough money freelancing to quit my full-time job. My part-time freelance journey over the past 4 years has opened my eyes to many realities. Consider these facts if you’re contemplating following the freelancing trend.
Fact #1: Help! I’m Overwhelmed!
Trying to balance freelancing with a demanding full-time job is nearly impossible. At times, one of my jobs has to suffer. When my full-time job becomes extremely demanding and I am exhausted, my interactions with my online clients become negative. Everything just seems like too much to handle. This is especially true when I am bombarded with multiple jobs at once. There have been several instances when I’ve had to temporarily suspend my online freelancing profiles so that I could focus exclusively on my full-time job. Of course this puts me in a financial rut, but I value my sanity.
Fact #2: Clients Can Be Difficult
Difficult clients are common in business. However, clients seem even more difficult and demanding in the world of online freelancing. This is especially true on the freelancing website Fiverr where clients expect a lot for very little pay. Additionally, communicating with clients across the world via the internet sometimes leads to misunderstandings. Clients are sometimes unable to clearly communicate their needs and can also become unresponsive. I can’t give you what you want if you don’t respond to my questions or if your instructions are all over the place.
Fact #3: It’s a 24/7 Job
As freelancers, we are tethered to our phones 24/7. We have the latest apps for our favourite freelancing websites. Our ears are always listening out for the notification sounds of these apps. If we don’t respond quickly, our stats are affected. Our stats affect our performance on freelancing platforms. Our freelancing lives quickly become all about the stats…the better they are, the more successful we think we’ll be. The moment I became less bothered by the stats is the more relaxed I felt.
Freelancing has its perks. However, it can consume you if you don’t find a way to strike a balance. This is especially true if you plan to do freelancing as a side gig. Take a break once awhile and find ways to complete your jobs efficiently with the least amount of stress possible. Success will be within your reach if you adopt this approach.